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View Full Version : Residential: Charge by week or month


NJlandscaper908
04-19-2011, 06:22 PM
When i was in business before I always charged by the week and it worked out well for the most part but I am getting back into the business now and I was thinking about charging by the month so even if someone tells me not to cut because the grass isn't growing etc I can still get paid. Also It helps to even out the extra time we spend in the spring when the grass is growing faster and cutting takes longer.

OR charge by the week and visit the property even if it doesn't need to be cut and clean up the beds/yard , pull weeds etc during the time slot alotted for cutting and bill it as a regular cut?

These are a mix of upper middle class and high end accounts if that makes a difference.

What do you guys think?

smz89
04-21-2011, 09:16 PM
From my expierience residential clients always want to be charged weekly. They never seem to be interested in a monthly rate.

goodgreen
04-21-2011, 09:22 PM
I've converted all my residentials to monthly. Easier just to send them a statement and they only have to write one check. And I just charge for the work I actually do. They aren't billed in advance or anything.

Golfpro21
04-21-2011, 09:40 PM
we charge per visit....we do not do bi weekly cuts.....so if we cut 4 times in a month we bill 4 times....maybe there is a week or two where we miss a week due to excessive heat and little growth....but we have tried the monthly billing and if you don't cut one week they are all over you.......forget showing up to weed the beds etc, if they want that service they pay for that service

knox gsl
04-21-2011, 09:47 PM
Service weekly and bill monthly. Its a challenge to get everyone paid up monthly, I would hate to keep up with it week to week, and leaving a check under the doormat isn't the way to go.

Dr.NewEarth
04-21-2011, 09:50 PM
WE charge residential by the month and at the start of the month.
Some months have five weeks.
So, either each month has a different charge, or you could charge an
equal payment for each month

For example nine months = 42 weekly cuts here
so 42 x ?/cut, divided by the nine months, plus the sales tax each month
(March through November)

Clients sign a contract and get a copy of it. They are shown workers compensation and liability insuranced information, plus pesticide licenses and other credentials.

Hopefully they don't stop service part way through if you are doing equal payments.

I also accept visa and mastercard and Amex. They pay at the start of the month.
If they pay by check I also take a credit card number for security.
If they don't like that, then I don't sign them up.
Once burned, twice shy.

Residential can be a problem getting paid from some-times.

It was so time consuming going there every month to get paid.
Some people hide behind their curtains and don't answer the door.
You have to chase them down.

When I first started years ago, alot of them would insist on paying by check at the end of each month. I didn't want to argue about getting a pile postdated when they didn't want to do this.

I have learned that there are alot of pita's and it's better for you to call the shots.
Fun and games.

If they only owe a hundred dollars,
it's not worth your while to go to small claims court or to slap a lien on the property.
That's why I get paid in advance from Residential clients.

If they have a problem with this payment plan, they are in a position to
complain about us and get reimbursed if we rip them off.
For instance, they can go to the BBB.
So we are ethically obliged to perform our duties professionally and not rip the client off.

On the other hand, we can't complain about a bad client can we?

fireman gus
04-21-2011, 09:52 PM
We have found, for us, it is easier to bill monthly. We charge for work actually done. We have a few that pays a fixed rate per month for 12 months but most of our clients don't like that plan.

NJlandscaper908
04-22-2011, 12:06 AM
Thanks fpr all the input guys...I did mean that we charge by the week but invoice by the month...I used to work for someone who tried billing in advance and it was a pita, it seems that most residentials feel more comfortable paying for a service after it is rendered, whether it be landscape, utilities or trash pick-up. I think i'll just stay with how I've done things and make an exception if someone WANTS to be charged monthly instead of by the cut.

topsites
04-22-2011, 01:01 AM
Instead of monthly, have you tried budgeting your money?

Mike Blevins
04-22-2011, 01:31 PM
My experience with monthly billing is that I would get asked "Did you mow my lawn that week?" I dont remember you mowing this week. "Was i here when you mowed it?" Every time I billed i had 2 or 3 call and question it. They liked that they only had to write one check per month but it was a GIANT pain in my arse so its back to paying weekly for me. Commercial accounts i still bill by the month but residentials all pay buy the week.

NJlandscaper908
04-22-2011, 02:25 PM
What does budgeting my money have to do with it... I have an operating budget and sales goals if thats what you mean?

Tuna3679
04-24-2011, 08:31 PM
ALL of our residential accounts are billed monthly with the price being based on 40 cuts per year multiplied by price per cut divided by 12 for example 75x40=3000 3000/12=250 per month. Same bill for every month whether we service 2 or 4 times. Also for some price for mulch/pine straw is divided amongst the twelve months as well. Keep in mind this is in Florida where we service year round. Clients like knowing exactly how much their bill will be and we know exactly how much is coming each month. Plus we offer a total care package that includes fertilization, dethatching etc.
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NJlandscaper908
04-25-2011, 12:10 AM
Got it, yea we work about 9 months...My only fear of doing it your way is that if they stop service in the middle of the season we may get screwed a little. Also we charge by the hour for spring & fall clean-ups and, shrub trimming so it'd be difficult to turn that into a monthly bill. I think he best way to make sure we don't lose money would be to give them a price per cut for the first year and charge by the hour for the other stuff then after we have service records and time sheets, give them a monthly price based on that information and go from there. What do you guys think?

Tuna3679
04-25-2011, 12:16 AM
Price includes shrub trimming and contract is for the total amount so if they cancelled after 6 months then we would seek legal action for the remaining $1500. Believe it or not this rarely happens.
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topsites
04-25-2011, 12:22 AM
What does budgeting my money have to do with it... I have an operating budget and sales goals if thats what you mean?

Because MOST folks who ask this question are doing it specifically so they can get paid during certain
no work months such as January and February, but since that's not the reason you're doing it I won't
waste any more time with that.

sdk1959
04-25-2011, 12:31 AM
If your still solo payment at time of service or weekly. If your running one or more crews billing monthly makes more sense.

You don't want to be paying 3 guys on the clock while one is looking for the check or writing up a invoice to leave on the customers door.

NJlandscaper908
04-25-2011, 12:53 PM
fair enough